Fiction


Selected poems and paintings

Che Qianzi
车前子

Che Qianzi (the pen name of Gu Pan) was born in 1963 in Suzhuo and currently splits his time between his hometown and Beijing. A well-known poet, prose stylist, and painter, Che has published over twenty-one volumes of poetry and essays. He recently staged two solo exhibits of his ink wash paintings in China, and his work can be seen at Galerie Gabrial in the US and online. We are grateful to the artist, Che Qianzi, and the 吴风雅颂 Wufengyasong (a gallery and organization in Su Zhou) for permission to reprint these images.

Paintings | Poems

Poems

 

Feelers

White bride, shadow bride,
Not one's own shadow.
Bride of snow.

It is the groom's shadow.
Beneath fluorescent lights hold a shadow marriage.

Brides of snow inexhaustible, from the sky,
Grooms, underground.
Deep underground, feelers wiggling.
He goes even deeper,
Where the gloom gets thick.

No daily life, human sphere,
There between . . . the heavens—the underground.

His claws scrape it away—its mirror, its eyeball,
And feelers wiggle, performance beyond grade level,
Like first waking.

 

触须

白色新娘,影新娘,
非自己之影。
雪的新娘。

它是新郎的影子。
日光灯下举行影婚。

雪的新娘源源不断,从天上,
新郎,地下。
深深地下,触须摆动,
他更加深入,
到黯淡。

无生活,人间。
天上——地下之间。

他的爪抠掉它——它的镜子,它的眼珠,
而触须摆动,出线,一如初醒。


Dawn (Outside the Window, Resembling a Painting by Castiglione)

Rustling traces, fitly dispersed,
Ink left over from a rubbed ink stick—

Flash-heated by recipe, this overseas red,
Those rustling, stippled,
Echoing traces.

Ramble midway up the mountain, enough to stir sounds
Reveling in water amid echoes.
In the hour of the cock, liaison with Chinese landscape of some kind.

 

黎明(的窗外,像郎世宁一幅画

窸窸窣窣的迹,如法,
磨剩之墨——

炮制,这洋红的,
那窸窸窣窣的,
迹响。

游山的腰部足以响动,
回声中玩水。
鸡刻之际,外遇中国山山水水。

 


Beijingers

"With a fragment of a poem in mind."

At an ice-skating juncture, he is suffused with light,
Like an eyeball:
Not a single blink,
Plunged into fearsome silence.

Someone buys monkeys and rabbits on a carpet . . .
(animals that) managed to run away,
which depends on carrying along a tail,
in the right measure.

Think of us being just right,
Since we know what is seemly,
Never make love, not having preparation in this area,
Not having the skill.

Index finger in the underlying color of a pretext,
As if about to flick ash off a cigarette.
And those Beijingers, in places where they are acquainted,
The one keeping company with eternity enjoys the chill.

Spiritual strolls, no farther than the outskirts, an onion
planted in the ground head-first,
Harvest the stunted wheat field next to the bridge;
Tree merely for show at an arboretum, green sleeves dragging into earth.
As long as there's some reaction.
Artesian spring on a carpet after monkeys and rabbits run away—
In the snowdrifts left behind,
Tap out a cave.

"Animals of prey printed for wide distribution."

 

 

北京人

"想起一首诗的片段。"

溜冰之际,他晶莹剔透,
像颗眼珠:
它一眨不眨,
陷入可怕的沉默。

一个人买下地毯上猴子兔子……
逃跑成功(的动物),
取决于随身携带尾巴的,
恰到好处。

想起我们恰到好处,
是我们识相,
从不做爱,没有这方面准备,
没有技巧。

借口的底色里食指,
像要弾掉烟灰。
而北京人,相识的地方,
永恒的陪伴者享受着寒冷。

心灵散步,远不过郊区,一棵
倒栽葱,
收割桥边佝偻的麦田;
一棵植物园虚设之树,耷拉入土的绿袖。
只要有所反应。
地毯上的泉水从猴子兔子逃跑后——
留下的积雪里,
敲出洞穴。

"猎物,批量印刷的猎物。"

 


Wake Up Like an Infant

Well-digger, come here,
Let go of yourself,
Wake up like an infant,
One more streak of clear water in sewage.

Water-fetcher, come here,
Let go of me and you.

Wake up like an eye,
Once again, an artesian well lifted high,
Between the legs, set dankness to work
From, dank greenery all around.

Hemmed in,
This overly concrete—
Mood of rushing into death's arms;
Mouthwise,
Just as in love.

All around, rapt intrigue of water,
Goes deep into soil.

 

 

婴儿一样醒来

淘井者,你来,
放下自己,
婴儿一样醒来,
污秽中又一丛清水。

打水者,你来,
放下你我。

眼睛一样醒来,
再次,挑高的井,
在两腿之间,运行蓊郁,
从,四周郁郁蓊蓊。

堵住,
这过于具体的——
视死如归的心情;
嘴,
一如爱。

四周,趣味浓厚的水,
深入土地。

 


Mother Tongue

Eat cotton candy.

I eat cotton.

Drink mother's milk,
In the arms of an inflatable doll.
I suckle on the mother tongue.

Tossed raw vegetables with mother tongue,
Bitter melon sautéed with mother tongue.
Mother tongue sautéed with meat strips.

——

A page of manuscript.

——

Heat you can feel,
It gives off heat you can feel,
Cottony wisps,
Giving off heat in the air.

——

A page of manuscript;
Drank milk excessively, of course,
You are a dairy cow,
Oh those black-on-white words!

(Provide: a page of manuscript.)
(Provide: mother tongue stewed in milk.)
(Provide: giving off heat you can feel.)

 

母语

吃棉花糖。

我食棉花。

在充气娃娃怀里,
吃母乳。
我食母语。

凉拌母语。
苦瓜炒母语。
母语炒肉丝。

——

一页手稿。

——

热气,
冒热气,
像棉花,
冒着热气。

——

一页手稿:
牛奶喝多了,当然,
你是奶牛,
这白底黑字!

(提供:一页手稿)。
(提供:牛奶炖母语)。
(提供:冒着热气)。

 

Translated by Denis Mair

From Chinese Literature Today

Current Issue
March 2011 Issue

Volume 2, No. 1

 

Purchase this issue of CLT

(Or purchase this
issue
for an institution
.)


Table of Contents

VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1

FEATURED AUTHOR: LI ANG

  • 06 "Beef Noodles" by Li Ang
  • 14 Dark Li Ang vs Bright Li Ang: A Self-Interview by Li Ang
  • 24 The Spirit of Deer Town and the Redemption of Li Ang's Uncanny Literary Home by Darryl Sterk

SPECIAL SECTION: WORD AND IMAGE

WRITER INTERVIEW

FEATURED SCHOLAR: HOWARD GOLDBLATT

IN EVERY ISSUE

  • Editor's Note
  • Contributors
  • Chinese Literature in Review
  • Pacific Bridge

ON THE COVER Moon 2 by Chen Nong

BOOK REVIEWS

  • Qi Bangnuan, The Big Run River, A Memoir
  • Liang Hong, China in the Liang Village
  • Zhang Dachun, The Urban Violent Gang (in two volumes) 
  • Tianxin Zhu, A Song of Clog Throwing
  • Shijiang Li, The Chinese Department
  • Bei Dao, The City Gates Open
  • Yang Jiang, About to Drink Tea
  • Han Han, Chorus of Solos
  • Li Ang, A Romance Across Seven Incarnations

Subscribe or download at www.zinio.com.